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Commission decision of on the financing of Public Awareness, Information and Communication actions in the Humanitarian field from the general budget of the European Union (ECHO/INF/BUD/2010/01000)

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THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION,

Having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

Having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No.1257/96 of 20 June 1996 concerning humanitarian aid, and in particular Article 4 and 15(3) thereof,

Whereas:

(1) The European Commission has a duty of transparency towards the citizens of the European Union;

(2) There is a need to increase understanding of humanitarian issues and awareness of EUfunded humanitarian interventions, especially in Europe and in third countries where the European Commission is funding major humanitarian operations.

(3) Public awareness, information and communication actions complement and highlight the humanitarian assistance provided by the European Commission:

(4) The European Commission's communication approach for humanitarian aid has been developed to take account of the specificity of humanitarian aid, with a view to preserving a distinct identity for impartial, needs-based humanitarian action. It aims at enhancing knowledge and understanding, in the EU and in the field, of EU-funded humanitarian aid through awareness, information and communication actions implemented in the framework of the partnership between the Commission and humanitarian actors. This approach does not cover communication actions implemented directly by the Commission.

(5) To reach target audiences, such actions should be undertaken by Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and International Organisations including United Nations (UN) agencies. Therefore the European Commission should implement the budget by direct centralised management or by joint management;

(6) An assessment of how the communication impact can be maximized leads to the conclusion that the actions under this decision should be financed by the Union for a period of 18 months;

(7) For the purpose of the implementation of this Decision, individual actions in the field may be subject to risks and conditions equivalent to those affecting humanitarian aid actions. Therefore, the suspension of individual actions owing to force majeure or other exceptional circumstances should be provided for in this Decision,. (8) It is estimated that an amount of EUR 1,000,000 from budget article 23 02 01 of the general budget of the European Union is necessary for communicating on humanitarian issues. The activities covered by this Decision may be financed in full in accordance with Article 253, point (e) of the Implementing Rules of the Financial Regulation;

(9) To ensure the effective implementation of the present Decision at the beginning of the 2010 budgetary exercise, it could exceptionally be adopted in 2009.

(10) The present Decision constitutes a financing Decision within the meaning of Article 75 of the Financial Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/20022, Article 90 of the detailed rules for the implementation of the Financial Regulation determined by Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2342/20023, and Article 15 of the internal rules on the implementation of the general budget of the European Union